Iran summons Swedish, Danish envoys over continued Quran desecration
Sweden and Denmark have seen a series of incidents of Quran burnings in recent months
By Syed Zafar Mehdi
TEHRAN (AA) - Iran's Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned the charge d'affaires of Sweden and Denmark separately over the continued desecration of the Holy Quran, state media said.
The director of the human rights department at the ministry condemned the "continuation of the brazen and heinous acts" of insults to the Muslim holy book in the two European countries, state news agency IRNA reported.
The official referred to the recent statement of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that "supporting criminals and desecrators of the Holy Quran is a form of war against the Islamic world."
He said freedom of expression comes with "certain duties and responsibilities," urging the envoys "to adhere to international obligations based on articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights."
Sweden and Denmark have in recent months witnessed a series of Quran burnings by far-right extremists under the protection of government forces, sparking backlash across the Muslim world.
In most recent case, anti-Islam activist in Sweden, Salwan Momika, staged another Quran burning protest outside the Iranian embassy in Stockholm, during which he was sprayed by a woman.
Iran had summoned the representatives of the two European countries in mid-July as well.
Danish ambassador was summoned on July 22, a day after a far-right protester set ablaze a copy of the Quran in front of the Iraqi embassy in Copenhagen.
He was again summoned on Aug. 7 after a recurrence of an incident of Quran burning in the Scandinavian country.
Swedish envoy was also summoned on July 21 when ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Stockholm is "fully responsible for the consequences of provoking the sentiments of Muslims" by allowing the desecration of the Muslim holy book.
In early July, Iran announced that it was not sending a new ambassador to Sweden, after the term of the previous envoy ended, over the desecration of the Holy Quran in the Swedish capital.
In a tweet at the time, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the “process of sending the new ambassador” to Sweden has been halted “due to the action of the (Swedish) government in issuing a permit to desecrate the Holy Quran.”
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